A lot has been on my mind since this last weekend, so I’ve been waiting to write this in an attempt to get it sorted out in my head. Since moving to New York City from Arizona two years ago, Electric Zoo has served as a symbol of summer’s end and my own growth as both a fan of electronic music and as a human being. The area isn't somewhere I usually frequent, yet each time I go back the park is always somehow still floating across the bridge in the very same place yet with a very different vibe each year.
Though it hurt to see the media label one of my most comforting places a “Death Fest” and to hear the insensitivity on the part of some attendees towards the deaths of those who inadvertently killed themselves, what really hurt the most was the abruptness with which people were willing to sneer at this community they had loved just the day before.
Ravers and business executives are quick to liken the dance music movement to the counter-culture of the late 60s yet in that comparison they miss our biggest virtue: we don’t have an agenda. We’re not liberals, convervatives, anti-political or anarchists, we just want to fucking dance. We accept the things that are outside of our control and throw them to the side because, at least for now, there’s nothing better or more perfect to be doing. So stop working yourself up. You are not your surroundings. The scene is not “dead” because there are a million scenes on this planet of 7 billion+ people. So maybe we can’t throw mega-raves in high profile public parks anymore, is that really that big of a deal?
Now I've had my doubts about this scene (or whatever you want to call it) and our generation plenty of times, and it’s happened just as many times at illegal raves with people rolling around on the floor high on a medley of drugs than it has at corporate-owned festivals. But I do know one thing: we have something going for us here. In a bleak world that’s been suffering for over a decade and about to enter new wars, we line up on the sides as the pacifists. We are tied together in unprecedented ways through social media and are quick to seize others in as our own. We are the citizens of this brave new world.
This whole thing wasn’t about “bros vs. ravers,” it wasn’t about commercialism, it wasn’t even about drugs. It was a wake-up call to give up the identity crisis and to stop trying to force things to be a certain way. Radiate optimism, share smiles with those around you, and like the music that binds us, go with the flow. This bass-driven journey isn’t even close to over.
By Edward Fancher